For our anniversary the Mrs. bought me a Gi. A good, heavy-weight, competition Gi. Since that time I've worn it but a handful of times. Mostly because I'd stopped playing Judo. I had begun lifting, and set Judo aside to focus on my lifting. I was under the impression that I could lift, and lose weight, and be healthy. I couldn't effectively lift, and play judo with any hope of recovering and avoiding injury.
So, the Gi hung in the closet. Every time I opened the closet it was there, pressed, hung, waiting.
Today, I took the Gi out of the closet, and decided to get back on the mat. Frankly, I'm 315lbs, my cardio for the past year has been almost non-existent. I'm strong, stronger then I've been in years, but after ten minutes on the mat I realized I was badly dehydrated and feeling ill. So, I took a few minutes, got my breathing under control, and got back to it.
Class ran for just under two hours. With two young students, and a number of black belts. With more black belts, then colored belts, it was an interesting class. We opened with between ten and fifteen minutes of warm-up. Jogging, sprints, high-knees, the usual. I sat out for the mat crawls, and shrimping to catch my breath.
We began by practicing an arm bar from mount, focusing on technique. One point I did find interesting is that keeping the knee that's on the mat tight to the opponents body, and leaning slightly forward, made it much easier to swing the other leg over, to finish the arm bar.
Class then moved into techniques on the ground. We worked a turn-over escape from guard. You'd sit up, take a cross the body over-hook, then bridge. Alternating sides. The objective is to trap the arm, and roll the opponent onto his back.
We then moved into escapes from being mounted. The first, was a turn over. You bridge, bringing the opponent forward. They post, to keep their balance. You trap and arm, by cupping the tricep with both hands. Then, you'd pull the arm to your opposite ear. Opponent's right arm, to your right ear. You trap the shoulder, and the same-side leg, bridge, and roll into mount.
The second escape from mount involved shrimping. You start, by bucking the opponent forward. Your second bridge, you shrimp onto your side, gaining space. With your lower leg, you press their leg away. Then, using your hand, you pass their knee over yours, and shrimp the opposite way, taking half-guard, and working onto the back.
We then moved to breaking the turtle. The first was a turn-over into a pin. Head-to head, keeping pressure on the back, you work the right hand, under the arm, to take the near side lapel. You want to keep the thumb outside of the opponents Gi. This means that your right thumb will be pressed into their chest, and you'll have a fistful of their near-side lapel. You then cup the other arm, with your left hand at the tricep, push into the opponent, wait for them to push back, then you pull with the left hand, at the tricep, and roll into the hole on that side. Using the right hand, which is full of Gi, you roll them over, and come to your stomach.
Alternately, you can use the same movement, as a choke. Instead of taking the lapel in the right hand, come across the face, then come back until you can catch the lapel. Slide the thumb in, grab the tricep with the left hand, and roll through. Your left hand should come through to grab your own lapel, slide the right hand, under the opponents chin, and rev the motorbike for the choke.
The two hours flew by. I found the class to be easy-going, and friendly. The black belts teaching ranged in size from around 130lbs, to near my size, which was a welcome change. I'll definitely be back.
And the hits just keep on comin'.....
4 weeks ago